08/16/07 — Game of the Week Ñ Goldsboro at Rosewood

View Archive

Game of the Week Ñ Goldsboro at Rosewood

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on August 16, 2007 1:48 PM

Don't blame Robert Britt or Eric Reid if they don't sleep much tonight.

Each coach makes their debut Friday evening in one of many intriguing contests dotting area football calendars this season. Rosewood, directed by Britt, entertains Reid and his alma mater -- Goldsboro -- at Branch Pope Field.

Game time is 7:30 p.m.

"I'm excited for it to get here and I'm sure the kids are too," said Britt. "I'm sure (coach Reid and I) will be excited. It might be a little bumpy being our first game though."

Reid can hardly hold his passion.

"This has been like a dream come true," said Reid. "The anticipation of Friday coming is just something awesome. Just the atmosphere there will be something special."

Britt took over the Rosewood job in May after serving six seasons as defensive coordinator at Class 3-A Wilson Fike. Reid spent last season as the Cougars' offensive coordinator.

While each eagerly awaits their first-ever game as head coach, the season opener features two sub-plots. The teams have never met on the gridiron and senior running back Anthony Council, fully recovered from an ACL injury, will debut for the Cougars.

"This could really turn out to be something special," said Reid. "The atmosphere and the fans in stands could make for an unbelievable night. I think there can be good things to come out of playing each other."

Once the kickoff takes place, expect a smash-mouth football game. Rosewood and Goldsboro are running the wing-T offense this season.

"We run similar plays, but we will probably do them out of different formations," said Britt. "A lot of the plays will be the same as far as where we're trying to attack the defenses."

Rosewood will use a variety of fullbacks and wing backs to attack the Goldsboro defense. Junior fullback Eric Martel will see plenty of work as well as wing backs Josh Holmes, Cody Richards and Chris Hare.

The Eagles' offensive line, led by J.P. Person and Trevor Morris, is expected to emerge as a team strength this season.

"We've got some pretty good backs and up front. We've got some linemen that are smart and will get after it," said Britt. "We've got talent, it's just going to take a little time in this offense to get it to mesh together."

Famous for putting big linemen on the field each season, Goldsboro will counter with a smaller and quicker defense in 2007. When the Cougars have the ball, Reid hopes Council will quickly return to his old self before the ACL setback.

Britt is aware of Council. The Eagles' defensive front -- preseason all-state pick Holt Rains, Andre Edwards, Person and Morris -- must contain the bruising back early.

"We'll try to get to him before he gets a full head of steam," said Britt. "We'll do our best to contain him and make plays inside the tackles. It's going to be hard because he's a great athlete."

Reid says he has countermeasures in place.

"We're going to do some misdirection, probably some counters," said Reid. "Don't be surprised if you see Anthony come out of the backfield for a couple of passes as well. We're going to do certain things so he'll get his touches."

Goldsboro may even turn to the passing game to loosen the Eagle defense, but don't look for the ball to be in the air often. Reid anticipates the two teams will combine for less than 20 passes.

"I wouldn't be surprised if it turns into an all-out ground attack," he said.

Opening games answer plenty of questions for teams with new head coaches. And one thing is for certain, someone will sample that sweet taste of victory.

"One of us will get our first win and one of us will get their first loss," said Britt.